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See who's in for a light dusting, and who could get up to 30 cm this weekend.

Snowsqualls spark collisions, closures on major highways

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Digital writers

Saturday, November 23, 2013, 4:26 PM -

TUNE IN: We're following these snow squalls and their effects as they move through the province. Check in for regular TV updates.

Snow squalls barrelling through southern Ontario have driven down visibility, coated roads and homes in snow. 

The snowqualls may have been a factor in collisions that shut down all northbound lanes of the 400 south of Barrie on Saturday morning.

A collision involving at least 20 vehicles was reported on the road in the late morning, causing the partial shut down that lasted for at least an hour before the highway re-opened at around 11:30 a.m. The OPP did warn drivers to be cautious as the dangerous conditions remained.

Near London, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation reported a large eastbound stretch of the 401 was closed between Woodstock and Ingersoll, after a dozen cars were involved in an accident. Several people were transported to the hospital but none with life threatening injuries. Another accident was reported on Saturday evening on Oxford street in London. No injuries were reported.

Several communities were covered by the squall watches and warnings that were in effect across southern Ontario, ranging from the southwest to Barrie and the York-Durham region.

"Over the next 48 hours, as a result of this low pressure centre that is pushing to the southeast of southern Ontario, the winds coming out of the northwest are bringing cold arctic air over the relatively milder Great Lakes," Monica Vaswani, a meteorologist at The Weather Network, said Saturday morning.

The result, she says, will be lake effect snow and snowsqualls bringing up to 30 cm in isolated areas, and reduced visibility.

In the Greater Toronto Area, flurries began to appear by the mid-morning.

Toronto itself is not in any of the watches and warnings, but Environment Canada did issue a special weather statement on Saturday warning of "local quick 2 cm snowfall."

Parts of the city did report some slight accumulations as the system moved through the Greater Toronto Area. By Saturday night, dangerous weather conditions were reported by those travelling on the highway near Markham. 

"There's a better chance to see the snow in Toronto today, as opposed to tomorrow," Vaswani said.

As Saturday dawned, the snow was already pushing into the province from Georgian Bay and Lake Huron, intensifying through the afternoon and evening Saturday.

Communities in areas covered by snow squall warnings will also see at-times heavy snow on Sunday, with the southwest affected the worst.

On the heels of that system are two others, also potentially bringing snow.

Late Sunday, a system from the prairies will begin to move into the province.

"Likely that will bring some wet flurries to parts of the GTA on Monday, and that may even transition into light accumulating snow by Monday evening," Vaswani said.

Another storm is developing in the Gulf region and slowly pushing up the eastern seaboard of the United States.

"If it becomes an issue for southern Ontario, it will be starting Tuesday night into Wednesday morning," she said.

"Most models are developing it well to the east of southern Ontario, so that means it will likely be more of an issue for parts of Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

In southern Ontario, it likely will not manifest as a major storm, but could bring very light accumulations.

TUNE IN: We'll keep an eye on the skies as the system approaches. Check in for regular TV updates through the weekend.

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